“This lady wishes to talk with the Messinesi,” cried the padrona, good-naturedly elbowing the crowd, evidently friends and hangers-on of the house. “You have seen them, yes? They only have two eyes apiece and one mouth? Well, then make room for the stranger lady. She may do something besides stare at the poor abandoned creatures.”

The people readily fell back and I found myself face to face with one of the first families of the survivors who had reached Rome. At sight of them I was overcome with suffocating emotion. It was a full minute before I could speak, before I could see through the sudden mist that blinded me. It was as if their sufferings had set them apart, their sorrows hallowed them.

In the middle of the group stood an old man and woman, holding each other by the hand. Both were bent and wan looking; the woman seemed the less shaken of the two. She had a wonderful shrivelled face with 온라인룰렛 gray-blue eyes and a brown seamed skin, stooping shoulders covered by a small peasant shawl, and an alert wiry little body. It was my business to ask certain questions, but it was more than a minute before I could get out the words.{32}

“What are your names?”

“I am Rosina Calabresi,” the staunch old woman quavered. “This is my husband; he cannot talk much yet. He is better now, but for three days after the earthquake he could not say a word. This is our son Francesco, and this is his wife.” Francesco, a soft-eyed young man, patted his wife’s hand; she hid her face on his shoulder and began to weep. “This is my grandson,” Rosina continued, “he is of Reggio. He was staying with us that he might go to school in Messina. His mother is my eldest daughter. We have not yet heard from his parents. We do not know whether they are alive or dead.”